The Hardest Virtue

I have to admit, I am not the most patient person. From a young age I have had this problem: I try something new, I expect to succeed right away, and when I don’t I get frustrated and usually quit.

I was even given a nickname that describes this trait: Instant Elena.

That’s what my dad says every time he sees me getting anxious and upset about something I haven’t given its due time. Don’t be Instant Elena.

It’s been a life long lesson; something that, embarrassingly, I still struggle with. Why I have this self-confidence that I should be able to succeed (and right away!) at anything I try my hand at is beyond me.

It’s delusional. Any craft worth learning takes times, diligence, hard work, and yes, patience. Why would it be any different with writing? I know this is something I want, and I’m willing to put in the work. But every now and then I have to remind myself not to be Instant Elena.

It may not happen in one year. It may not happen in ten. And that’s alright. I know I have miles to go before I get to place where I’m ready to publish. But even if I take babysteps, hopefully one day I’ll get there.

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5 thoughts on “The Hardest Virtue

  1. Writing definitely is a slow process, even once you feel like have a certain grasp of craft techniques. It never became easy, not for me. It’s never instant. I have to revise and rewrite and revise and on and on. Takes such patience, it’s like a marriage 😉
    Don’t ever give up or get discouraged!

  2. Patience is the best tool for a writer. It’s hard when we worry about what people think, or feel that we should be doing better than we are. But the fact is, it takes time to learn the craft and we must give ourselves that time. I have taught a lot of writers and more often than not the trouble they are having is that they expect things too soon: they want their first drafts to be amazing, or they want to already write the book, or they want an agent before they are ready. This post really shows that you are thinking the right things, making all the right decisions. There are plenty of posts on my blog about taking time, getting space. So, if you ever need a little help do pop by, or ask me a question. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much for the comment! I have found your blog very useful and inspirational so far and I’m sure I will continue to use it as a resource. Thanks for the invitation and I look forward to sharing more ideas in the future!

  3. A very honest reflection. Many people struggle with this, so you are not alone. I think it can be really helpful to view each draft as a little success. Maybe the first draft isn’t AMAZING, but it’s a success in bringing you closer to the ultimate goal. Baby steps. Keep it up.

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